The World Bank, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sarvodaya Fusion
‘Youth Solutions’ regional grant programmers
“Youth Solutions” the regional grant programme jointly organized by
The World Bank, Microsoft Sri Lanka and Sarvodaya Fusion awarded eight
projects funding their dream into a reality. While the idea behind the
competition was to get solutions for current youth related problems from
the youth of the south Asian region the problem assigned to the
competitors was how Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills
among youth could help them to gain secure employment opportunities.
Managing Director, Lafarage Mahaweli
Cement (PVT) Ltd, Anrag Kak, representative of YPSA ,
Bangaladesh, General Manager, Avery Dennison Lanka (Pvt)
Ltd, Moji Akingbade, representative of Live and Learn
Environmental Education from the Maldives, Senior
Communications Officer, World Bank, , Gabriela Aguilar, Asia
Vice President of Insights Innovation and Social at
MSLGROUP, Gaurav Mishra, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri
Lanka, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, representative from
Shilpa Sayura Foundation from Sri Lanka, representative from
YUWA from Nepal. Picture by Nissanka Wijerathne
The award ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Cinnamon Grand and
awarded applicants from four countries in the South Asian Region, Sri
Lanka Maldives, Bangaladesh and Nepal.
“We got 80 project proposals of which we selected eight Non-
Governmental Organizations (NGOs) two from each of the countries. The
project proposals of each of these contestants were aimed at winning a
grant between US $ 15, 000 and US $ 20, 000 to fund their projects,”
Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne said.
The winners of the competition were Shilpa Sayura Foundation from Sri
Lanka, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) from Bangaladesh, YUWA from
Nepal and Live and Learn Environmental Education from the Maldives.
The project proposal submitted by the Sri Lankan contestant was to
empower youth with IT skills to produce 10 high impact films on current
social issues. The project was titled; ‘Digital Rainbow’ and it would
train at least 100 youths to become film makers. YPSA’s project were to
empower youth with disabilities through market driven ICT skills, its
aim was to give ICT training to those with disabilities and provide them
with internships relevantly.
Maldives aimed at reducing poverty by aiming to improve production
and marketing craft through an online portal thus the youth would be
engaged in training that would equip them with ICT skills to gain
profitable employment. Nepal proposed a project to provide youth with
comprehensive ICT education through the e-learning methodology, thereby
providing the youth with sufficient education to gain employment.
“We are greatly impressed by the projects proposed and are proud to
be among the minority that is betting on the youth and the technology to
create a better future,” Wijeyeratne said.
The general comment for all contestants was that they should not
focus on just technology, there should always be a balance between the
main focus and the balancing of technology. “It is evident that without
technology, none of the projects could not be achievable, however, a
balance is necessary, so it is important for all participants to take
this as food for thought,” Asia Vice President of Insights Innovation
and Social at MSLGROUP, Gaurav Mishra stated, while addressing the
audience after a very insightful presentation regarding the use of ICT
in achieving humane goals.